|Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mecca, 1982, acrylic and oilstick on canvas mounted on wood supports, 70 x 68 7/8 inches. |
Image via sothebys.com.
Auction hammer slammed on music giant's $4.5M bid for Jean-Michel Basquiat painting at Sotheby’s
From the nypost.com November 20, 2013:
He raps, “I just want a Picasso in my casa” — but Jay Z has settled for another of his art-world obsessions, plunking down a cool $4.5 million for a Jean-Michel Basquiat piece.
The Brooklyn-born rap impresario was the anonymous buyer of a quirky 1982 Basquiat painting titled “Mecca’’ on November 13, 2013 at Sotheby’s in Manhattan, a source told The Post.
His hefty purchase — an orange, white and black acrylic and oil-stick work — features the Empire State Building under a trademark Basquiat crown.
Its estimated sale price was between $4 million and $6 million, so the rapper got something of a steal.
But it doesn’t look as if money would have been an object anyway — Jay Z has had a love affair with the late graffiti artist and fellow Brooklyn native for several years.
Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, has repeatedly included in his songs references to Basquiat — who OD’d on heroin in 1988 at age 27.
He said one of Basquiat’s paintings even inspired an entire track — and has lovingly talked about a print of that work that he owns.
The painting, “Charles the First,’’ was the basis for his 2010 song “Most Kingz,’’ the rapper has said. It opens with the lyrics “Inspired by Basquiat, my chariot’s on fire.”
In his 12th, and most recent, studio album, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” Jay Z references some $493 million worth of art, according to Forbes.
In one track, “Picasso Baby,’’ Jay Z gives a nod to Basquiat by rapping, “It ain’t hard to tell, I’m the new Jean-Michel.”
A Jay Z rep did not respond to requests for comment.